Air India’s lounges have been in focus after many years since Air India is now the only airline that operates lounges at Delhi Airport. Additionally, with the closure of most lounges at Delhi Airport for renovation, many Star Alliance airlines (as well as Vistara) started sending their guests to the Air India Lounge, as it was the only lounge operational at Delhi T3 International for a while. While I visited the Delhi T3 Lounge for Air India on the domestic pier, it had been a long time since I had used the Air India Lounge atal Pier the Internation. In June 2023, though, I flew out of Delhi T3 twice, and both times, I was invited to the Air India Lounge—the first time around by LOT Polish and the second when flying Singapore Airlines.
Delhi Airport International Lounge Air India
The Delhi Airport International Lounge of Air India at Terminal 3 is operational on the Mezzanine Floor adjacent to the recently opened Encalm Lounge. The lounge was inaugurated in 2014, to the best of my memory, under the government ownership of the airline and is one of the three remaining lounges of the airline (others being T3 Domestic and New York JFK) while the other lounges folded up (such as the one at Mumbai Terminal 1).
The lounge is accessible for Air India’s Business and First Class customers and those of other Star Alliance member carriers. Those eligible for lounge access via Star Alliance Gold status can also use this lounge. Vistara also uses this lounge for their International Platinum and Gold customers and Business Class customers who are flying out from Delhi T3.
Your first stop on arriving at the lounge is the reception. They will scan you in here and help you with directions. If you need wireless internet access, this is also the spot to collect your voucher. Sometimes airlines will print the invite for the lounge on your boarding pass itself, while at other times, they will provide you with a voucher to enter the lounge. The lounge is divided into two sections, a Business Class one and a First Class one. Most of the time, you will be directed towards the left side, where the Business Class lounge is.
The lounge has two main sections on the Business Class side. As you enter, you will see a massive seating area with tables lined up against the wall for dining and couches taking up most of the area.
Beyond that, there is a second section with some recliners apart from more sofas.
Next to this section, the airline offers dining options. Here is the morning buffet setup from when I visited in the morning. There were many options of bread and bakery items, fruit, Omelette and Chicken Fingers, and Paneer Bhurji and Upma. Note the Maharajah cutouts peppered across the buffet, just like at the Domestic lounge.
Beyond all the hot food items, there was also a new snack bar with popcorn from 4700 BC.
And a full chiller with water and soft drinks.
And coffee as well.
The Bar situation at Air India’s International Lounge had improved as well. Old timers would remember the bar used to have a limit of two pours to be served per guest in a different era (to save costs or to stop passengers from boarding in an inebriated state, we don’t know). Now, the bar is stocked up much better, and that limitation is no more in sight. While the liquor is not top shelf, it is not bad either.
While Air India will be spending money on a brand new lounge (I assume this one will be shut to build that one), there are ample signs of their attempt to undo the past.
Here is the dinner service when I arrived on my second trip to this lounge in June 2023 (the second trip). The lounge had Soups, Rice and Curries and some fried items and dinner rolls.
While the dinner did not look great, it tasted alright. The breakfast worked out better, in my view.
There were also computers, there for public use and browsing.
Apart from the main lounge, which is for business class customers, there is also a smaller section on the other end, which is for First Class customers of Air India (and other airlines operating from Delhi with First Class service). The furniture here was in better shape, and the lounge was empty.
There was also a small water and snacks counter for First Class customers at the lounge. For meals, they’d have to partake in the same buffet as the rest of the guests.
The Lounge also has a shower and a changing room for kids.
The Air India Lounge at Delhi Terminal 3 is accessible for Air India’s Gold and Maharaja Tier customers, their Business and First Class passengers and other airlines using the lounge, and Star Alliance Gold members. It is the only airline lounge in Delhi Terminal 3 and will be revamped, although the timeline is uncertain. For now, the lounge does a good job purely because it has cut away from the past and is a better place to bide time rather than the other lounge operated by Encalm for Credit Card customers, where you could spend 30 minutes just trying to gain entry.
What do you think of the Air India Lounge Delhi T3 International? Have you been inside? How did you like it?
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